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Mail Order Nurseries

I never got much beyond the seed-buying stage with mail order houses. I can't imagine buying bedding plants from them when the chains [Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart] have them before one could receive them via mail.

Rather, I've spent many, many hours roaming the countryside searching for local [or nearly local] retail outlets and garden club pant sales. I don't know why exactly. I just guess that I feel better if I can see the real item before I buy it. Also, I've found that one can occasionally find genuine buys at small, out of the way nurseries.

The first ground orchids we bought, for example, were in 1-gallon pots from the back bench of a nursery in West Palm Beach. The pots were definitely overgrown--maybe 10 or 15 plants per pot--and the price was right [less than $5.00]. They were also blooming, so we knew what colors we were getting.

I know this is not always practical in northern places. And it's certainly not practical if you are interested in bulbs other than daffodils, grape hyacinths, and tulips. But it works for most things that are well-suited to the climate.

I read the negative comments about TyTy and was struck more by the naivete of the buyers than by the apparent veniality of the seller. I can't imagine buying a palm, even a trash palm like Sabal palmetto [state tree of Florida and South Carolina], mail order. Just doesn't compute.

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10

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